The Q&A Archives: tree survival in Oklahoma's summer heat

Question: How would you expect these trees to do in full sun given the hot Oklahoma summers?
1. black hills spruce
2. italian blue cypress
Could you recommend a spruce or cedar tree that will be 20'+ that is fairly dense in appearance that would do well here in full sun? Thanks!!

Answer: Looking at the heat zone map, I would say you are located in summer heat zone 8. This means you need to look for plants that tolerate that amount of heat as well as high humidity. In addition, you need something that will handle your cold winter weather -- your zip code places you in winter hardiness zone 6. I think junipers would probably be better suited to your area as it is too hot in summer for the spruces in general and too cold in winter for the Italian cypress, it is also too humid for the cypress which prefers a Mediterranean type climate. There are many different juniper cultivars available. Your local professional nursery staff should be able to help you evaluate the growing conditions at the planting site you have in mind and suggest plants that should do well there for you -- based on a more detailed knowledge of the site such as wind exposure, amount of sunlight and soil type they may have additional or different suggestions.

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